The dead had unalienable rights

Every victim
of deadly gun violence
had the unalienable
right to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.

You can look it up.

Share this self-evident truth with others.

 

An open text from out there

boy-958478_1920b

We see you.

You are what your Anglos call “humans.”
We can tell by the way you move about
and the noises that you make.

You build machines that fly
to nearby planets and machines
that kill your own species.

Your home teems with sustenance,
yet many wither and die
as other humans thrive.

You seek other life
yet don’t know
how to live your own.

We wait to see you open your eyes,
then maybe you will see us.


First launched on Medium, August 13, 2016

Dropping “America” before Election Day

Changing my name seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago.

Following Budweiser’s lead when it rebranded as America, I tried to have a little fun emulating one of the dumber marketing gimmicks ever. I changed my Twitter name to B.J. America and my blog to “The America (formerly Smith) Compound.”

My wife never really embraced the notion of being Mrs. America, or Ms. America, but I thought it was worth a try.

My intent was to change back to Smith after Election Day 2016. That’s when America beer will go back to being Budweiser, after what the foreign-owned company’s spokesman predicted would be “the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen.”

How a summer can be patriotic was never really explained.

The thing is, I couldn’t wait until November. I’m not exactly proud of the way America is acting lately.

The name has become too much of an embarrassment. Our discourse, if we can even call it that, has gotten too ugly.

Some elements have gone well beyond ugly. The words toxic and unhinged come to mind.

Candidate Trump is a dangerous GOP mistake who spreads lies and bigotry and plays on the fears and prejudices of millions of Americans to further his incoherent political agenda. Congress continues to do nothing to confront our national addiction to gun violence. We are complicit by accepting their inaction.

That’s not my America.

Back to The Smith Compound.

“Armed = dangerous” explained

A few weeks ago, I posted a simple equation as a comment on a news story about toddlers and others who had been shot over the weekend.

Armed = dangerous

Just yesterday I learned that it isn’t simple enough for some gun-ownership advocates to comprehend. One asked me what it means. Another, if I understood the fuzzy thinking, took it to mean that I am for banning personal firearms ownership. When I said that I am for no such thing (I used the term “paranoid bullshit”), I was called a liar.

man-886601_1280The equation neither says nor implies anything about intent. It’s a simple statment of fact. An armed person is a dangerous person. If good guys with guns weren’t a danger to bad guys with guns, what would be the point?

Unfortunately, armed men and women with the best of intentions routinely prove to be dangerous to themselves and others by handling firearms carelessly, wrongly assuming weapons are not loaded, and accidentally shooting themselves and others.

Armed people who don’t understand that carrying a deadly weapon makes them dangerous need to learn this.

Responsible gun owners recognize the danger that is inherent in carrying firearms. They learn how to handle guns to prevent accidental discharges. They keep guns out of the hands of children who don’t have the knowledge, judgment or experience to handle deadly weapons safely.

You hear news reports of suspects at large who are described as “armed and dangerous.” That they are armed says it all.

What do I want for Father’s Day?

For as long as I’ve been at this business of being a father, you would think the question would get easier to answer. It’s tougher than it looks. It is tougher than ever.

My wife and children have already given me everything I need. They don’t stop.

What do I want?

What I want is the same as every other day.

jupiter_ganyA cure for cancer.

A cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

An end to these dreadful politics.

Relief from my country’s addiction to guns and violence.

Love, not war.

I want Jupiter to align with Mars.

That’s all.

 

Keep his gun: Shooting the computer was just stupid

It’s hard to not laugh about the Colorado Springs man who shot his computer in an alley a few days ago, but let me apply the wet blanket.

Sure, computers can be frustrating. We joke about throwing them out a window, taking a baseball bat to them, even shooting them.

Browning 9mm
Wikimedia image

But actually taking one out to an alley in town and letting the bullets fly?

That’s one kind of guy who should not be allowed to own a firearm — one who proudly and openly demonstrated a dangerous lack of responsibility and good judgment, and says he has no regrets.

Don’t give the gun back.

P.S. To the headline writers and others who so gleefully wrote about the guy who “killed” the computer: Save that word for when actual lives are taken by such idiocy.

Too bad common sense is so rare when it comes to guns. “Utah gun law … an embarrassment” | http://po.st/KSdA0e via @deseretnews